Back in 2005, my home was invaded by thieves. We had a party that night and maybe 100 people showed up and stayed for music and crawfish. Many of the attendees were neighbors that my wife had invited, though I did not know any of them. The party ended around 01:00 and we went to bed. Both guest rooms were occupied over night, one with a couple and their pit-bull dog. I left the alarm system un-armed so that if they needed to take their dog out or one of them wanted a smoke, they could access the back deck. Around 02:00, my dogs awakened me that there was someone in my gun room, which also doubles as my home office. I told them to stand down, that it was probably just Holly checking her email. When I got up the next morning, the first thing I noticed was a loaded flare pistol lying on the floor in my office. I picked it up and wondered, pre-coffee, why it was there but it didn’t register just yet. As the morning progressed Jimi and her guests decided to go to the beach for the day and as I was carrying everything to the car for them, I noticed the gate door was hanging with a broken hinge. Guess one of my more inebriated guests had problems with it…then I went back inside to my office and that’s when I noticed a very expensive shotgun lying in the floor and my safe open. There was a trail of silver coins that I followed to the gate. After inventorying, I discovered that someone had entered my house, located the flare gun in my shop and armed themselves before continuing back to my gun room, they took a little Rambo robs a liquor store kit, an AR 15, a 1911 (0ne of a matched pair), a S&W Combat Masterpiece (a very rare factory single-action), a Llama mini-1911 in .22, a loaded tactical vest with several magazines, holsters, magazines, ammo, and speed loaders for the guns they took, a big bag of silver coins, a Blackjack Blackmoor dirk that they swapped scabbords with a Gerber MK1 knife, and they took my spare keys with alarm FOB. I immediately had the locks and alarm codes changed on the house. A week later, I was stepping from a plane in Trinidad, when my phone rang. It was the alarm company telling me a window alarm was going off and if I wanted them to call the police. I called one of my people at the office, only minutes away from my home and Jim responded with his Glock and awaited the Sherriff to arrive. They were not successful in their second attempt. Two nights later, my wife was awakened by the puppies just before the door alarm went off. She was already up with a flashlight and her pistol and took a pot-shot at a fleeing shadow. That is when we decided to up-grade the puppies to include Maggie. Maggie is a sweet female Doberman. Females have an innate protective instinct and do not waste their time or attention pissing on trees or sniffing other dog’s butts. I installed motion activated cameras in key areas that email me when activated and I can remotely log into their view. Lemon trees and roses now obstruct access to my windows. More motion activated floodlights surround the house. I have motion activated Game cameras in front of the house and a motion detector alarm that emits a high-frequency sound that only my dogs can hear. If it proves to be more than a passing skunk, they get aggressive and wake me up. Sometimes, they awaken me for a skunk or armadillo, but I don’t mind so much. I ignored them again a few weeks ago and someone stole my pickup toolbox that I had removed and left alongside the driveway. My point is, that regardless of your security system, if you don’t actually use it ALL THE TIME, it does absolutely nothing except lower your insurance premiums a few dollars each month. As an aside, a few days ago, this kid on a mini-bike stopped to chat with me. He was asking about Maggie. I told him that she would not bite as long as I was with her but if he ever saw her and I wasn’t around, to leave very slowly, back the way he came or she would likely attack him. He asked me if I bought her because of my house being broken into? This set off alarms with me. This kid may have been all of 3 or 4 years old when my house was broken into. I did not mention this to any of our neighbors, not really knowing any of them and certainly not wanting to get to know them any better. I see this kid has a couple of older brothers. They have only recently moved into a house down the road from me but I have seen them driving by over the years and put them on my watch-list.